April 29, 2005

ghosts of marathons past -I

the bangalore international marathon is on may 15, so get out your running socks!

i'm running the 7k fun run. i refuse to be defensive about running a wimpy distance. 26 miles is not an option.

i was never a huge marathon fan. if you wanna run, just do it, why jostle and pay for the privilege? but having run a few major races i now get that whole group energy, sense of accomplishment thing.

the first time i ran as an adult was the cherry blossom 10 miler in washington DC. no, i didnt run 10 miles, i ran 5k. but it was early in the morning and first the wind picked up off the potomac. then the rain started to fall. i had some winter gear on, but i saw some poor saps in shorts and wicking-off-the-sweat tshirts who got simultaneously dehydrated and hypothermised.

highlight of the race- finished the 5k in about the same time as the first kenyan woman finished the 10 miles.

the legs were a bit wobbly afterwards, but i finished in the top 100 (size of entire group unknown) and stuffed myself with the bananas and muffins laid out in large quantities.

April 22, 2005

south of da borda

have been celebrating international tamil nadu week, ira-style. saturday was spent at hoggenekkal- a picnic spot in tn, 5 hours from bangalore where the kaveri goes through rocks and caves and films are shot on the waterfalls. the coracal (inverted dome shaped boats made of wicker lined with plastic and sealed with tar) boatrides on the river allow you to lie back and relax. or take a dip..
why though, must people (men) put shampoo and soap all over themselves while taking a dip in the river? i absolve localites of blame-if its their bathing spot, bathe away- but the day trippers who unwrap their lifebuoys and scrub away... leaving a foamy trail... why?

while in a line to get our boat under a waterfall, a nearby boatload of girls recognised me as their senior from good ole sms (st. mary's pune, smell my socks, school of a million snobs). we wouldve burst into the school song, but whatever i couldve remembered was pushed out of my mind by the pounding water.

behind the river there are hilly forested slopes that looked like they'd make a nice day's expedition, but we were too soaked from joy riding to explore.

i also made my first trip to chennai this week. word of advice- if you're taking a volvo- rethink. if you cant change plans- carry blankets with you. they provide the ill-equipped with thin lil shawls, and then they blast you with the a/c.
the journey was at night, rather dull, apart from the momentary excitement provided by an angry man who yelled at all the sleeping passengers "this man is drunk! do you people want a drunken lout in your bus"
silence from the disoriented passengers.
"oh, so you're happy to have a drunk on board"
all of us look a bit confused- are we really happy to have a drunk on board? do we care? what is our poilcy towards drunked roistering on the bangalore-chennai bus?
angry man, "oh by the way, he's the driver"
everyone sits bolts upright, angry man departs.

someone should do a comparative study of rickshaws. in chennai, they're very friendly, the rickshawallahs. will cheerfully charge you large amounts for short distances, while the meter serves as an art deco piece. i call them smiling assasins.
bangalore though, specialises in the surlier type of rickdriver. its probably the traffic that gets to them. and maybe they inhale a lot of lpg, since a lot of ricks run on it, and i can always smell it on the road. they whine, sulk and crib.
of course, since its been a while since i've been in a rick in pune, i picture them in starched cottons, driving along smartly, bathed in a halo of light, with a muted altaf raja number playing in the background.

April 13, 2005

i'm not fat..

..i'm big boned
..there's more of me to love
..the trees around me are too thin

and the boston creme doughnut goes to-- i'm not fat, i'm ruebenesque!

if anyone has better chubby put-downers, send em in!

April 12, 2005

career op? maybe not

I read something yesterday about a french company that makes tubes of peanut butter that are marketed to aid agencies only, to be provided to malnourished children. currently its being provided in darfur and has helped a lot of children gain weight quickly. it also does away with powdered products that need to be mixed with clean water.
but the best part is the product name- plumpy nuts.
of course, i immediately wanted to be doing just that- coming up with innovative food ideas that could help malnourished children. food and saving lives- what could give me better job
or maybe not. having spoken to people who've worked in rwanda, i'd probably not sleep too well at night, knowing what was going on outside. i'll just stick to the sheltered life for a little longer then..

April 11, 2005

.. and the lord taketh away

hmph. either my blog is more popular than i thought, or it's all a cosmic coincidence. a day after trilling on about my posh apartment, the landlord landed up there and asked us to move to our eventual destination. notice to do so- 3 hours.
charming, really.
the chap also has a twelve bore rifle amongst his family's belongings. laid out ostentatiously on the divan.
we were going to pay the rent anyway. call off the snipers!

April 08, 2005

ji, mantriji

i'm currently staying in one of the hundreds (exaggeration) of mantri constructions proliferating on banerghatta road. there's mantri pride, elegance, prestige, snob-value.. all expensive places, with very few trees. doorbells play songs and add "krupaya darvaza kholiye". because normally when i hear a doorbell i dive out of the balcony? and the very fancy swimming pools..

what is the redblooded class warrior doing in these plush surroundings, you wonder?

well, my landlord was supposed to move in here. but his pujari told him it would get him years of bad luck. apshakun, apparently. so we moved right in, will spend the month collecting the bad luck for him. and when venus is in the third house from the left, we move right out and into our more humble, income-appropriate surroundings.

April 07, 2005

whineancial times

i've been told that my blog is basically a written version of my daily whining, whingeing and complaining. and to these critics i say, "why pick on me? what have i ever done? it's not fair"
that should be the end of that complaint.

April 06, 2005


the weekend to recharge our batteries turned out to be the weekend for an elephant to charge us, while the jeep battery spluttered.
while a part of me kept clicking pictures, knowing that the jeep driver was just giving us touristy jollies, the other part of me was completely petrified at the sight of the mammoth beast trumpeting and running towards us.

bandipur is 6 hours from bangalore, (4 according to my version of lonely planet). i usually prefer treks to safaris, but this makes a good weekend getaway. the backdrop was perfect- cloudy skies, with a few drops of rain and the nilgiris on the horizon. spotted deer is plentiful, pretty soon you get a bit snobbish and refuse to stop for them. there's lots of elephants too, but what with the charging and the mud bathing, you don't undervalue them. no big cats to be seen, though of course, one had "just been spotted yesterday"..
we also saw langur, a variety of lgbs (lil grey birds) golden backed woodpeckers, peacock, sambhar and dosai.